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Articles Written by Katie


About Katie: Katie has been a product and textile designer, an art restoration specialist, and an interior designer/merchandiser. Her interests are focused on finding well designed items that improve daily life as well as reading fiction and making stuff. (View Profile)


Hand-Screened Celestial Star Chart

Not a lot of art has been popping up on the must-feature list, but there’s just something about a Star Chart that always grabs the eye. By the way, if there’s anything particular you’d like to see more of here on BLTD, please let us know- email us or send us a tweet.

Purchase Information:

Price: $85.00 - 225.00
Available from: TRNK


Oh, what to do with a ho-hum vase, plant, or weird thingamajig? Put it on a pedestal! That phrase might sound like a pop song’s title (and maybe it is) but placing an item on one of these wood pedestals elevates it into special viewing territory, which makes it slightly less tchotchke-esque and a little more ‘oo-what’s that?’ They’re sold as a set of two, so starting thinking which two of your favorite things deserve a little more visual attention.

Purchase Information:

Price: $50.00
Available from: Areaware

Industrial Concrete Side Table

Fond of concrete? How about a super minimal option with an iron shelf? Oh, and don’t worry, because it’s not oodles and oodles of dollars like most minimal table options that we all love. It’s not cheap, either, but it won’t give you a heart attack. There’s a corresponding coffee table as well, but don’t get too matchy-matchy; most of the time it’s better to mix up textures and materials to draw the eye around a room.

Purchase Information:

Price: $399.00
Available from: West Elm

Grovemade Brass Key Ring

Now this is a handy key ring. It hooks quickly onto your belt loop, yet it’s smaller and way less obnoxious than a carabiner. If you just thought to yourself wait, a carabiner is obnoxious?, I’m so, so sorry to be the one to break the news to you*. If you think a carabiner is the bomb, and are clutching yours right now very, very tightly, we’ll let you go this once, for functionality’s sake.

Oh, and this key ring opens a bottle too. Hooray! Available in Brass, Black Oxide, and Stainless Steel.

Purchase Information:

Price: $39.00 - 59.00
Available from: Grovemade

Alphabeta Pendants

Brilliant! You can customize the color and shape of these pendants. And if you don’t think you’d be interested, just give it a go and see if you don’t find a perfect color pairing that would fit somewhere in your home. There’s 8 different shapes, each with their own color besides the basic black and white. It gets pricier as you add to the grouping, but you can always just choose one pendant (or two) and stop there (good luck).

Purchase Information:

Price: $324.00 +
Available from: Hem

Toto Storage Boxes

Boxes, caddies, compartments, all these things help us organize the accoutrements necessary for our daily lives. The Toto Storage Boxes are pretty simple- they’re composed of birch wood and metal handles/shelves. Choose the right size to fit your needs. Perhaps the larger is fit for the office or studio? Maybe the smaller sizes are appropriate to organize bathroom accessories, makeup or jewelry?

Purchase Information:

Price: $30.00
Available from: Umbra

The Butler

Say hello to the Butler, a curved brass lamp with a hand turned oak tray. Clamp it on to a tabletop or shelf for an ideal spot to keep necessities- perhaps your keys, wallet or phone? It always helps to have just one area for important things; set it down in the same place every time and it’ll be there when you go to get it (if you don’t live with anyone else).

Purchase Information:

Price: $495.43
Available from: Studio 19

Lake House: Models

For those of you that didn’t read my post on Friday, I’m building a lake house here in Texas. This is an experiment in sharing, as we normally don’t get too personal here on BLTD. However, for such a large project it’d be a shame to not share some of my lessons learned. So, on to the first building stage: concept.

Habitables Nightstand

Who else makes a point to watch Etsy’s stock price (for curiosity’s sake) but forgets that there are several stand-out furniture makers selling their wares? Or just plain forgets to check Etsy for furniture in your time of need? Raise your hand, come on. Yeah, me too. Take a look at this bedside table from Habitables and tell me it’s not a decent option. There are various color options (they affect the price, fyi), so you can customize the look to suit your space. Be sure to check out their wall-mounted version as well.

Purchase Information:

Price: $327.00 +
Available from: Habitables

Colorplay Hourglasses

You would use one of these hourglasses for a) timing your meditation, b) making sure you do the right amount of pushups/sit-ups, c) making sure you don’t spend too much time on social media, or d) tackling email. None of those sound very fun, do they? Let’s add e) taking a break from work for a (timed) spontaneous dance party.

Purchase Information:

Price: $$6.00 +
Available from: MoMA Store

Friday Links

– An all White Attic

– Graphic Designers, this is how you should charge your clients

– Hmm. Male seahorse and human pregnancies remarkably alike

Incredibly woolly sheep– it needed help “relieving the beast of its life-threatening load”

Color(ed) Theory: Color, Race, and Space in Chicago’s South Side

– Teensy tiny little horses

4 Engineering Students have Developed a Device that Converts Sign Language into Voice and Text (via Gender and Science)

– Transportation: there are balloons and then there are balloons

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend- we’ll be back on Tuesday with posts.

Passing Cloud

Lake House

If you’ve ever had the pleasure (and pain) of building a house from the ground up, you know it’s a mixed bag. A great team of architects and builders helps you start out on the right foot, but no matter how experienced that team is- or seems to be- or how much research and preparation you do, there are still going to be issues that crop up.

Those issues, mind you, crop up very often when you build modern/minimal home. Not everyone is familiar with a less-is-more sensibility, and the care and detail required in a minimal, visually clean finish often take twice as long (or more) as as a traditional build. Got an uneven drywall edge? Slap some trim on and no one will know (or care). A perfect, no-trim look on a drywall edge? You’d think you were suggesting a trip to the moon with some contractors. I’ve learned all this in the various remodels I’ve overseen, but especially so in the last year, as I’m currently building a lake house here in Texas.

Hannah Desk

I bet you would write your best paragraph/email/novel on this desk. It’s streamlined with subtle curves on its corners and two slim drawers underneath, which is just enough space for desk essentials… and absolutely no clutter. Let’s hope any writing done on this desk mirrors its pared down, elegant aesthetic.

Purchase Information:

Price: $1,385.00
Available from: Dwell Studio

MUJI Organizing Caddy

Is MUJI a savior? When it comes to organizing, yes. Deliver yourself from chaos by adding one or two of these caddies underneath your kitchen or bathroom sink. Add another one for your office area, because you know there’s always a few little things that need a home. The compartment dividers are removable, so adjust as necessary to fit your tools, toiletries, or drawing supplies.

Purchase Information:

Price: $16.00
Available from: MoMA Store

abcdna Spectrum Nesting Tables

Need some brightness in your life? This set of steel nesting tables provide a spectrum of intense hues that’s sure to pop amongst your other things. Available in Red, Blue, or Yellow. (Also, don’t be too bummed about the numbers in the price tag- keep in mind you’re getting three powder-coated steel tables, not one.)

Purchase Information:

Price: $995.00
Available from: abc Home